Sydney FC vs Brisbane Roar 


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There are 6 bankers & 5 value tips in the Members Section today so feel free to sign up here to see everything, including our exclusive AFCON 2022 coverage!

Today’s free tip is in the Australian A-League encounter between Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar.

Sydney FC looked comfortable enough in this fixture midweek, even after Donachie’s stupid red card. Nothing about that match made me think that this one will be any different, at least not in a negative fashion.

Warland will replace Donachie alongside Wilkinson in defence; I’m not bothered by that. I might be against a good attack, but Roar don’t have one. Sydney FC are gradually getting back to their best, converting chances well, controlling games well, and holding leads well. They’re still without some big names but I almost feel like they look better for it – even Le Fondre, who is by far their best goal-scorer.

Lately, they’ve been missing Ninkovic, Le Fondre, Bobo, Barbarouses, and of course Brattan, who is out for the season. They’re the old guard. Some are still class acts, but they’re all getting on a bit – and it shows. The amount of times they got caught out last season because they couldn’t cope with their opponents’ energy levels beyond the seventy minute mark, or couldn’t get out when hemmed in because they didn’t have enough pace to counter – it was embarrassing, honestly. 

This season, though, they’ve done some good things. I’m not Kamsoba’s biggest fan, for example. I like his speed and his dribbling, but the timing of his runs and his finishing is quite poor so it surprised me when they picked him up from bitter rivals Victory. However, he’s done really well in the Barbarouses role, outshining Buhagiar, who has been at the club for far longer. The two of them give Sydney FC speed though, and they’ve not had that up front since Barbarouses was at his best a few years back. 

Fuse the above with a natural pressing forward like Wood, a workhorse like Burgess on the left-hand side, and Caceres pulling strings – and it works. Not just them either – I really like what I’ve seen from Yazbek too. This may be a somewhat youthful and raw attacking setup at Sydney FC right now but it’s working. They’re harder to handle now, and I like that. They should be feared. The youthful, fast, tenacious attack fused with a strong, organised, and experienced defence works really, really well. They’ll look even better whenever Amini settles in too; he’s a very fast, quick-thinking kind of creator. Perhaps we’re beginning to see the changes that needed to happen at The Sky Blues two years ago, huh? Corica – you might still have your job next season if these improvements continue!

As much as I can and will praise Sydney FC for recent changes though, a portion of my confidence in this pick stems from how poor Roar are. Where do I even start with them? They have one strong area, which is defence – and most of that has been missing this season. Last season, it was Young in net, and a centre-back pairing of Gillesphey and Aldred that kept teams at bay. Young and Gillesphey have left, and Aldred has been injured all season long – and he still is. Both Brown and Hingert – other experienced Roar defenders – have spent time on the sidelines this season too, although Hingert made his return from injury from the bench midweek, and Brown has a chance of playing today so things are improving there. That said, impressive loanee Milnaric cannot play in defence because he’s on loan from Sydney FC. Brindell-South is a doubt because he’s recovering from Covid-19 too so their defence is far from in the clear – and that’s their strongest area.

Midfield – I genuinely don’t know what the plan is. They pushed Akbari forward, which worked well, but had nothing with him. He may return from Covid-19 today; time will tell. Steinmann isn’t getting enough minutes as their screener; I don’t know why. Parsons isn’t getting enough game time; again, I don’t know why. Subsequently, link-up play between midfield and attack – it’s just not happening, especially with O’Shea finally looking his age. 

Then there’s the attack. They bought Ivanovic from Sydney FC pre-season, and that was a good bit of business because he’s been one of their few bright sparks this season. Lescano drifts in and out but it’s hard to judge him because the service to him is non-existent. Mileusnic has been unsurprisingly inconsistent, and Olsen looks like he’s never seen a football before. There simply isn’t a route to goal for Roar right now. They’ve had to rely on individuals doing the unexpected. Dehmie has been quite good at that this season but he’s out today anyway. They signed Lofthouse pre-season as a wildcard signing to be an unpredictable playmaker but he’s not all that good, and he’s out today too. 

All in all, despite Roar’s undeniable tenacity and unwavering spirit, they simply don’t offer anything going forward, and their defence can’t keep opponents out right now. The latter will improve as the season progresses but the former – it’s hard to see how it will. They’re so, so, so short of difference-makers in the final third. The law of averages dictates that they will score goals, sooner or later, but there’s no logical reason to believe that they will against one of the division’s most solid defences.

Therefore, I’m inclined to believe that Sydney FC will have this game all their own way, just as they did midweek, and they should have scored a few in that one so I’ll take my chances on the -1 Asian Handicap.

Verdict: Sydney FC to beat the -1 Asian Handicap at 49/50.

Saturday’s Thoughts

As ever, if there are any explanations required then please feel free to post a comment! For the remainder of my thoughts on today’s games, see below, although I feel compelled to write that the below are not necessarily my tips but merely my thoughts. For confidence ratings, you’ll need to go to the members section here.

International Friendlies:

Iceland vs South Korea

Australian A-League:

Adelaide United vs Melbourne City 
Sydney FC vs Brisbane Roar 

Belgian Eerste Klasse:

OH Leuven vs KV Mechelen 
RFC Seraing vs Union Saint-Gilloise 
Club Brugge vs Sint-Truiden 

English Premier League:

Manchester City vs Chelsea
Newcastle United vs Watford
Norwich City vs Everton 
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Southampton
Aston Villa vs Manchester United 

French Ligue 1:

AS Saint-Etienne vs Racing Club Lens 
Paris Saint-Germain vs Stade Brestois 

German Bundesliga:

VfL Wolfsburg vs Hertha Berlin 
Union Berlin vs TSG Hoffenheim
VfB Stuttgart vs RB Leipzig 
Mainz 05 vs VfL Bochum
Koln vs Bayern Munich 
Borussia Moenchengladbach vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen

German Bundesliga 2:

Werder Bremen vs Fortuna Dusseldorf
St. Pauli vs Erzgebirge Aue
Nurnberg vs Paderborn 07
Darmstadt 98 vs Karlsruher SC 

Israeli Ligat Ha’al:

Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs Hapoel Nof HaGalil 
Hapoel Haifa vs Maccabi Petah Tikva
Hapoel Jerusalem vs Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Italian Serie A:

Sampdoria vs Torino
Salernitana vs SS Lazio
Juventus vs Udinese 

Italian Serie B:

Cremonese vs Como
Parma vs Crotone
Reggina vs Brescia 
Cittadella vs Cosenza
Pisa vs Frosinone

Dutch Eredivisie:

NEC Nijmegen vs Heracles Almelo
Feyenoord Rotterdam vs Vitesse Arnhem
FC Twente Enschede vs SC Heerenveen
Go Ahead Eagles vs RKC Waalwijk 

Portuguese Liga 1:

Boavista vs Gil Vicente
SL Benfica vs Moreirense
Sporting Braga vs Maritimo Funchal

Portuguese Liga 2:

Casa Pia vs Academico Viseu
Penafiel vs Vilafranquense 

Spanish Copa del Rey:

Real Mallorca vs RCD Espanyol
Sporting Gijon vs Cadiz
Girona vs Rayo Vallecano de Madrid
Real Betis Balompie vs Sevilla CF 

Turkish Super Lig:

Adana Demirspor vs Kayserispor
Sivasspor vs Trabzonspor
Fatih Karagumruk vs Rizespor
Antalyaspor vs Fenerbahce 

Enjoy your free betting tips!

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